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Minneapolis-based foundation gives Yale School of Drama its largest donation ever

Minneapolis-based Robina Foundation has given the Yale School of Drama its largest donation ever, in the form of an $18 million gift.
According to an article in Yale Daily News, the funds will go toward supporting the Yale Center for New Theatre, which was established in 2008 with a grant from Robina. The Center will be renamed the Binger Center for New Theatre, after Robina Foundation founder James Binger, a passionate advocate of theater.
The Robina Foundation is a private grantmaking organization that "seeks to positively impact critical social issues by encouraging innovation...and transformative projects," according to the foundation's mission statement.

Chef Shack featured in 'America's Most Creative Food Trucks'

A story from Yahoo! about “America’s Most Creative Food Trucks,” features the Twin Cities-based Chef Shack.

Yahoo surveyed the country’s “quirkiest cuisine” delivered on wheels.  

It found that while the popular Chef Shack may seem to offer a random menu at first, with everything from bacon beer brats to beef tongue tacos, everything is sourced from local family farms and coops.  

“Chef Shack operators Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson switch up the menu on a regular basis, tailoring it to the season's prime ingredients. This means that your taste buds are guaranteed a flavorful punch no matter which dish you order,” it states.

Minnesota Book Awards winners announced

The Minnesota Book Awards have become popular and highly competitive honors, and more than 750 people attended the announcements about who won, according to a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Nine categories were included, and some of the winners were: Laura Purdie Salas, for her children's book "Bookspeak! Poems About Books"; Richard A. Thompson, for his novel "Big Wheat"; and Ed Bok Lee, for his poetry book "Whorled."
Allan Kornblum, founder of Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press, received an award for lifelong contributions to the state's literary community.
The award program is a project of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, in consortium with the St. Paul Public Library and the city of St. Paul.

Bicycle Times: 'The surprising rise of Minneapolis as a top bike town'

In a Bicycle Times story titled “The surprising rise of Minneapolis as a top bike town,” local writer Jay Walljasper describes the city’s affinity for bicycling.

Minneapolis' goal is to make biking an even bigger part of the transportation system, he states.

Mayor R.T. Rybak is quoted in the story, saying to a group of out-of-towners, “Biking has become a huge part of what we are,” adding, “It’s an economical way to get around town, and many times it’s the fastest. I frequently take a bike from city hall across downtown to meetings.”

Jeff Stephens, the executive director of the Columbus advocacy organization Consider Biking, also visited the city. “It was exciting to see what they’ve accomplished in Minneapolis, which is a city that seems a lot like Columbus.”

Livability.com puts Minneapolis music scene in second place

Livability.com recently put together a list of the top ten music cities in the country, excluding Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles. Minneapolis wound up in second place.

Athens, Georgia, topped the list.

First Avenue in Minneapolis’s Warehouse District is an important music venue, according to Livability.com.

“Most remember it from the Prince movie Purple Rain,” and the building’s decorative stars make up a who’s-who of artists who have played there, it states. The wall includes such big names as U2, B.B. King, Death Cab for Cutie, Wilco and many more, notes the article.

Also, the nearby Fine Line has drawn artists such as John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, The Black Keys, Lady Gaga, Ben Harper, and Buddy Guy over the past two decades.

NYTimes highlights Minnesota's new museum month

The New York Times recently featured Minnesota's statewide “museum month,” which is coming up in May.

It’s the first celebration of the sort to spring up nationally, according to the newspaper.

Several local museum administrators came up with the idea, the story states.

“The rich history of Minnesota’s museums invites such a focus,” says the Times, citing the 1849 founding of the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul.

The Walker Art Center’s chief of operations, Phillip Bahar, is quoted saying, “There are stories that we each try to tell individually, whenever a special exhibition is happening,” but “What we want to do is tell the stories that we don’t have the opportunity to tell very often, about the broader community of museums across the state.”

'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' spotlights Pizzeria Lola

An episode of the Food Network TV show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” this week spotlights Pizzeria Lola, a popular pizza joint in Southwest Minneapolis.

Pizzeria Lola, which features wood-fired artisan pizzas, is known for a creative menu that includes everything from a Korean barbecue-style pizza to the “Sunnyside” pizza, which is topped with an egg.

The neighborhood eatery is a favorite of chef and TV/radio personality Andrew Zimmern, according to a summary on the show’s website.

Another part of the episode takes viewers to a destination diner in Georgetown, Texas, with actor Matthew McConaughey.

Huffington Post gives Minneapolis top marks for bike-friendliness

The Huffington Post includes the Twin Cities in its recent list of top 10 places for bicycling.

It recognized cities of over 100,000 residents that “feature an abundance of great rental shops, municipal bike racks, exciting trails, and dedicated bike lanes,” the story states.

“The Twin Cities' emergence as a bike-friendly superstar coincided with a general plan to make the area more livable,” according to the story.

In Minneapolis, the Nice Ride bike-sharing program has seen plenty of use, while bike-friendly events are abundant.

Last year the city “added 37 miles of bikeways, installed hundreds of bike-specific street signs, and created a citywide bike map," says HuffPo.

Pop Matters: Minneapolis is one of the stars in "Stuck Between Stations"

In a review of the film's release on DVD, Pop Matters points out that Minneapolis is one of the stars in “Stuck Between Stations,” which stars Josh Hartnett.

The couple upon whom the film centers “may or may not love each other, but they clearly love their city,” it says.   

Minneapolis becomes a character in the movie, and its “signature characteristics are on display: its art, its architecture, even its bicycling culture,” while local bands are also featured.

The author also praises the film’s cinematography, which shows “visually stunning” views of the area.

Director of photography Bo Hakala, who lives in Minneapolis, demonstrates his “love for his home city and its visual appeal manifests itself gloriously on screen.”  


Quartet of local chefs up for Food & Wine award

First came the James Beard Award nominees, and now comes Food & Wine magazine's competition for "Best New Chef." It's official: the Twin Cities are a gourmet paradise.
The magazine divided the country into 10 regions, and chose 10 restaurants from each. Four Minnesota chefs are on the list for the Midwest region.
The contenders are Sameh Wadi from Saffron Restaurant in Minneapolis, Landon Schoenfeld from HauteDish in Minneapolis, and Mike Brown and James Winberg, both from Travail Kitchen & Amusements in Robbinsdale.
Readers were asked to choose their favorites by voting on the magazine's website, and winners will be announced soon.

Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis featured for interesting makeover

A recent USA Today story highlights the makeover of the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

As a part of a $25 million project that started in December 2011, the hotel charged its designers with creating a “sleek, new look with an eye towards all things “local”--including Red Wing Pottery,” the story states.

Michael Suomi, design chief for Stonehill & Taylor, which came up with the architectural and design plans, is quoted saying "We had a specific goal of bringing as much of the manufacturing and sourcing back to America to promote job growth, increase speed to market and celebrate American craft"--adding that this way, “we saved money!"

Ellen DeGeneres helps Minneapolis couple

A local couple who were facing foreclosure got help from comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, according to a Star Tribune story.

DeGeneres presented them with a $25,000 check from Fujifilm Medical Systems on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which aired last Friday.

Carrie Agnew had written to the show about the dire situation she and her partner, Rebecca Johnson, were facing.

When the show offered to fly them in to watch a taping, Agnew had no idea that the visit would involve financial help.

"It's such a relief," Agnew says in the story, adding, "Our lives are changing."

An artistic representation of 100 things to love about the area

The Walker Art Center blog features artist Aaron Draplin’s graphic map, called, “100 Things I Love About Minneapolis.”

The image shows a map of the state, which is filled in with words and illustrations that touch on everything from the iconic Grain Belt Brewery sign to the common phrase, “You betcha.”

It includes landmarks along with bits and pieces of pop culture. Among the destinations it pictures are the Ideal Diner in Northeast Minneapolis, Ax-Man Surplus store in St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis skyways.

Kansas newspaper highlights Minneapolis as spring break destination

Forget sun-drenched beaches and ocean views: for this spring break, college students might want to consider Minneapolis instead.
That's the view of one editor at the Kansas State Collegian, the newspaper for Kansas State University. She posits that students there may not be considering a road trip northward, but that they should.
Highlighted in the story are the Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden, Hell's Kitchen, and the Mall of America.
"Minneapolis is a city with specific attractions for all sorts of people," she writes in the article. "The city takes pride in its ability to entertain a diverse group of out-of-state travelers."

Swedish Institute grand reopening draws royalty

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis recently announced its June 30 grand reopening with the addition of the Nelson Cultural Center.

The expansion and other campus enhancements will get a visit from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia in October. During their Minnesota trip, the king and queen will also go to the Swedish-founded Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, which will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.

“The Nelson Cultural Center’s innovative design and handcrafted, Swedish-inspired detailing embrace Nordic values--including respect for nature and quality materials, as well as for the environment, through energy conservation and sustainable building practices,” the statement from the American Swedish Institute reads.  

225 arts and culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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